During his 23 years in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Sean* had become accustomed to wildfires forcing him to evacuate. None of those evacuations ever came to anything. All that changed this August.
“When the wind came up, I became concerned, but I didn’t expect it to come to my house,” he recalled.
After the evacuation order came, Sean managed to move three of his cherished six motorcycles to safety. Then he filled a suitcase with clothes and left. Just a day later, he found a vantage point to see his property in the aftermath of the fire that tore across West Kelowna.
“It looked just like a smoldering mess,” he said quietly.
When he was finally allowed back on the property, his house was ash and rubble. But what concerned Sean most was the garage and the three motorcycles he left behind. The roof had caved in, and burned debris was everywhere.
Sean didn’t know what to do until he encountered a Samaritan’s Purse information table at an emergency center. Sean learned how partners like you make it possible for our relief volunteers to help Canadians in Jesus’ Name. He then contacted us and asked a team to visit his property.
When the volunteers arrived, “they worked their butts off and met all the requests I made to find items in the wreckage,” he said gratefully. “They knew what they were doing and came well equipped.”
Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers pulled down a dangerously damaged chimney and wall, then found and rescued Sean’s beloved 1947 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
“My plan was to try to hook up what I could see of the motorcycle and pull it out with a car,” he explained. “That would probably have done more damage to it, but Samaritan’s Purse got it out of there without any further damage.”
When asked if he had a message for donors who make this work possible, Sean teared up and had to stop for a moment. Finally, he simply said, “Just thank you. I’ve had that Harley Davidson almost 35 years, and Samaritan’s Purse gave it back to me. It meant more than words can say.”
After finishing at Sean’s property, the volunteers offered to pray with Sean and presented him with a Bible signed by each team member.
As work continues in West Kelowna, please keep praying for Sean and hundreds of other residents who face overwhelming loss. In the coming days, another one of our specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers will depart to assist homeowners in the fire-ravaged Shuswap region of British Columbia.
Your prayers and support are vital as relief teams share the hope of the Gospel in word and deed.
Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters within Canada, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.